Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Book Review: The Atlantis Story - A Short History of Plato's Myth

Bryn Mawr Classical Review (Reviewed by Lynn LiDonnici)

Pierre Vidal-Naquet, The Atlantis Story: A Short History of Plato's Myth. Translated by Janet Lloyd. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2007.

We live in a time of parallel historical 'realities,' or perhaps more properly, mentalities: those constructions and parameters within which the scholarly community generally operates, and those of popular culture. Although these occasionally may wave to each other in the distance as they pass on the highway, in many cases they exist in conceptually opposite corners, swords drawn in active hostility. The phenomenon of this alienation between scholars and the general public, in which each side battles to own or control the categories proof, evidence, objectivity, critical distance, the scientific method and scholarly authority, has been examined in several studies over the last ten years or so, yielding fascinating analyses of various controversies, including the publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the archaeology of Palestine-Israel-Jordan, the real existence of Noah's Ark, the split between mainstream Egyptology and certain elements of Mormonism, the biography of the Pharaoh Akhenaten, and of course anything and everything mentioned in The DaVinci Code.

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